Health Concerns
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Health Concerns

What is health?

Ask Canadians what makes them healthy and you would get many different answers. Some might say luck or family history; but most would point to their lifestyle — whether they smoke, how much they eat and drink, how much they exercise, and perhaps how well they manage their stress levels. There is no doubt that personal lifestyle has a very direct impact on health; but, health is generally viewed as much more complex.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) offers a simple definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. “Social well-being” is an important aspect of this definition that may not always occur to us in thinking about our health.

For simplicity, we have organized the health concerns mentioned on our website into a variety of categories.  Click on each category to find specific health conditions.

What affects health?

There are many broad factors in our lives that influence our health. These factors include:

  • Income and Social Status
  • Social Support Networks
  • Education and Literacy
  • Employment/Working Conditions
  • Social Environments
  • Physical Environments
  • Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills
  • Healthy Child Development
  • Biology and Genetic Endowment
  • Health Services
  • Gender
  • Culture

These factors are known as the determinants of health. It is the inter-relatedness and changes in these determinants that make the health of individuals or groups a complex combination of factors.

Each person’s experiences of health can differ widely and vary across their lifetime. When faced with challenges – problems on the job, relationship troubles, the loss of a loved one – good health provides us with the physical and emotional resilience we need to cope with difficult times, regain our balance and live life fully.

– Sourced from Public Health Agency of Canada